Weekly News Bulletin – 29th June 2018

This week, we shared an informative piece from PBC Today discussing what Building Information Modelling (BIM) is and how it can help your business. With BIM being such a relevant and popular topic, we recommend reading this article to find out a little more about BIM and how it can revolutionise the construction sector in particular.

We saw news that the Government is working towards greater flexibility for the apprenticeship levy. With employers being given the opportunity to transfer 10% of levy funds to multiple businesses, it is hoped this move will boost the number of apprenticeships throughout the country. What is your opinion? Do you think a greater flexibility in the levy will encourage more apprenticeships?

In similar news, Print Week reported that the apprenticeship levy is under fire due to being seen to fail businesses. With the majority of businesses feeling that the levy is simply another tax to pay and complicated to use, the Government’s goal of creating three million new apprenticeships by 2020 is seeming increasingly unlikely.

It was announced that West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, has launched an action plan to arm the upcoming generation with skills needed for the industries of tomorrow. Working with leading employers, such as Deloitte and Jaguar Land Rover, key skills will be identified that will be required by employers in the future. The plan aims to work with training providers, such as universities, alongside businesses and local government to ensure that skills required in businesses are addressed in training facilities.  Here at Metsec, we are passionate about enabling our employees to upskill where required through training opportunities and regularly take on new apprentices.

The Construction Enquirer reported that the Federation of Small Businesses has published research that reveals 25% of business in the supply chains for public infrastructure projects experience late payment more than half the time. These findings are resulting in mounting pressure for the government to lead by example and protect subcontractors through splitting up big public procurement contracts where possible to ensure large government suppliers pay on time.

FutureScot published an interesting piece on automation in the workplace and how this affects the construction industry. We would recommend reading this positive view on why automation could result in a quicker, more agile and human workforce.

Finally, on a similar topic, it was announced that the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded £11.4m to seven projects to help fund AI and process automation.  With industrial digitisation worth as much as £455bn over the next decade to UK manufacturing, it is hoped that this funding will allow businesses in the construction industry to progress. We’ll keep you updated as we know more.

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What is BIM (Building Information Modelling)?

What is BIM? Most of us in the construction industry will be familiar with the term, but what is it and how can it benefit the construction sector?


Apprenticeship Levy under fire for failing businesses

More than a year has passed since the Apprenticeship Levy was launched last April and many feel that it is not working as intended.


Greater flexibility for apprenticeship levy as transfers extended

Employers given green light to transfer up to 10% of levy funds to multiple businesses


Skills plan launched to build workforce fit for the future

An action plan to arm a new generation of West Midlanders with the skills needed to drive the industries of tomorrow has been launched by mayor Andy Street.


Pressure mounts on Government to protect subcontractors

The Federation of Small Businesses is calling on the Government to accept a raft of public procurement reforms in the wake of Carillion’s collapse.


The robots are coming – but people are still key to our future

With so many headlines, films and social media conversations shouting, “The robots are coming!” it’s hard to ignore the implication that one day, machines will replace the entire human workforce and we will all sit twiddling our thumbs.


Projects receive funding to help digitise manufacturing

Following recommendations from the Industrial Digitisation review, the EPSRC is funding AI and process automation projects.